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Update on severe weather.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, has received an update on preparations for the severe weather expected across the south and west of Scotland at a Scottish Government Resilience meeting this morning.
The Met Office has extended an Amber warning for strong winds in Northern Ireland into southwest Scotland for this afternoon and tonight. Yellow warnings remain in place along the west coast of the country and people should be aware of the potential for travel disruption, especially during this evening’s peak period and into tomorrow morning.
The trunk road operating companies have put additional resources in place to respond as quickly as possible to any incidents with plant and equipment ready to be deployed if required.
Traffic Scotland is fully operational at the National Traffic Control Centre and will be providing updates on social media, website and radio broadcasts throughout the period and people are being asked to check the latest information before they travel. There are likely to be restrictions on bridges as a result of the conditions, especially for high sided vehicles.
Air, ferry and rail travel could also see delays and cancelations and passengers should check their operators websites and Twitter feeds for the latest information.
SEPA currently has four flood alerts in place covering Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Ayrshire and Arran and West Central Scotland, while there are eight local flood warnings in Dumfries and Galloway.
Utilities companies are putting the necessary arrangements in place to cope with incidents should they arise.
The Scottish Government will also be activating its Ready Scotland digital marketing campaign for the areas covered by weather warnings, which will outline key practical steps the public can take to keep themselves informed, get ready, and help others in their community.
Mr Yousaf said:
“The Met Office is telling us southwest Scotland in particular is going to see some difficult weather today and into tomorrow as a result of ex-Hurricane Ophelia. More generally, the whole of the west coast can expect some blustery conditions.
“The strongest winds are expected to reach southwest Scotland from around late afternoon and they will peak during the evening. Gusts of 55-65mph are expected quite widely, with gusts 80mph likely in places.
“The conditions are likely to lead to transport disruption and we are urging people to take the weather into account if they are planning to travel on trains, ferries and flights.
“On the roads, there is the potential for disruption, especially on bridges and we people should check the latest information before they set-off, drive to the conditions and follow Police advice. The Traffic Scotland service now give details of ‘wind based’ closures for eleven major trunk route bridges allowing people to plan ahead with more accuracy.
“Motorists should check Traffic Scotland before they set off to make sure that their route is available. The new Traffic Scotland mobile website - my.trafficscotland.org lets people get the latest information on the move and @trafficscotland is updated regularly.
“We would urge people to sign up to SEPA’s Floodline service to get the latest flood information direct to their mobile phone and people can contact the free 105 service to report or get information about power cuts in the local area.”
Head of Road Policing, Police Scotland, Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle said:
"We advise all road users to take extra care in what could be very difficult conditions. Drivers should also anticipate there may be debris on the road and local flooding due to the debris blocking the drains. If you do need to travel, tune into local radio stations and follow Police Scotland Road Policing on Twitter @PolScotRPU for the latest updates."